Earlier this year Crys and I decided that since COVID was calming down a little bit and we’d already had our vaccinations we were going to take a trip somewhere for our anniversary. We’ve been on several cruises and every time we get back we talk about wishing we had gone to an all-inclusive resort instead. So we did some research and eventually decided we were going stay at Hard Rock Resort Riviera Maya in Cancun Mexico! After a little planning we ended up booking the trip to coincide with the first leg of our RV journey so my mom would be able to take care of Lil while we were away.
This was my first time flying internationally AND over a large body of water, so I was pretty excited. When you add to that the fact that we’ve been essentially stuck at home for the last year I was over the moon. As we approached Mexico the view of the water was stunning!
Everything had gone very smoothly until we arrived at the Cancun airport. I don’t know what I expected, but we ended up waiting in line about an hour to get through customs so we could leave the airport and finally get on the van that would take us on the 1 hour drive to the resort.
The first thing I noticed (and appreciated, though the hot/humid weather made it very uncomfortable) was that they were very serious about the mask mandates. Masks had to be on and worn correctly at all times or you would be approached by someone asking you to fix your mask. It made me embarrassed for how we’ve handled the whole situation.
After passing a long string of resorts on the way to our own we finally arrived. It looked exactly as you’d expect, lots of tropical colorful plants, a giant Hard Rock guitar, giant gates. The resort was beautiful. We were a little too early to check-in but we explored the resort as much as we could with the level of exhaustion we were both facing. We had been up since around 3:30am and we both just wanted to lay down. I tried to keep my cool but the combination of heat+humidity+mask was really testing my patience.
Finally, after we grabbed lunch at one of the restaurants, we had a room!
The room was more than we had imagined. A large bathroom with a beautiful walk-in shower and frosted glass everywhere. A bed with a headboard that was ridiculously oversized. A large set of patio doors leading out onto a terrace. We had also decided to get a room with a roof-top Jacuzzi tub and it was huge! We ordered room service and collapsed in the bed for a long nap.
We were there from Saturday through the following Sunday and for the most part we focused on rest and fun. A good portion of several days were spent in the pool with a large assortment of cocktails (all-inclusive also included the bars). On more than one occasion we had rediculously large room service orders just so we’d have a variety of foods to sample.
There were only a couple of disappointments. First was the food which was on-par with cruise food. Second was the absence of a beach. The resort was ocean-front but was surrounded by a reef which was very jagged and rocky. They didn’t even allow guests onto the reef in fact. There were a couple of inlets where you could swim in the ocean but there was very little water movement and it felt a little stagnant and gross. The view was beautiful, though.
We had booked a number of excursions including swimming with the dolphins, riding some ATVs, zip-lining, cave swimming, a couple of escape rooms and a visit to Tulum. It was a week full of memories.
Some of the highlights:
- Crys and I were able to actually hold onto the dorsal fin of the dolphin and were pulled through the water!
- The ATV riding was incredible. It only lasted about 30 minutes but it was long enough for us to know we want to have some land and a couple of ATVs in the near future.
- The cave swimming was a unique experience. The water was cold and there were stalagmites and stalactites everywhere. There were several skylights that created shafts of light that went deep into the water.
- During the tour of Tulum one of the tour guides (who was Mayan) displayed a level of passion for his heritage that really overwhelmed me. It wasn’t the type of national pride that I’m accustomed to, this was something greater and more beautiful.
- Crys and I beat 2 escape rooms by ourselves!
- I was able to try 2 different legitimate Cuban cigars. While they were definitely different than the cigars I’m familiar with they weren’t better.
- We had dinner one night outside by the ocean. The food wasn’t amazing, but the conversation and time together was.
By the time Sunday rolled around we were ready to be back home and see Lil. We had a quick layover in Florida so we could work on establishing our domicile, getting our drivers licenses and registering our vehicles. We also got to spend some time with family while we were there which was a nice bonus.
Overall I think if we ever stay at a resort again we’ll probably try one that’s not all-inclusive. We thought the high price we paid would mean good food, but it didn’t. I’d rather stay at a place where the food and drinks are an additional cost so we can control the amount we’re spending. We did have fun though and definitely don’t regret the trip!